The double effect

Weaning weight increases, piglet losses decrease

More and more pig farms in the Czech Republic have set a bigger focus on repopulation within the last couple of years: The old genetic formula has been replaced by new and more modern sow breeds with an excellent fertility. How can an operation increase the weaning weight and decrease the piglet losses? Find out more about it in this report.

The modern breeds produce about 16 piglets per litter. If the litter is very big, the amount of piglets with a low birth weight increases. This is in conjunction with a low weaning weight and the imbalance of the piglets after weaning.  

The feeding machine

Nowadays more and more farms use a technical feeding machine. There are two different categories of machines: for prestarters and for milk replacers. Feeding machines for prestarters are suitable for piglets from the fifth day of life. Due to the warm water the piglets have a warm porridge at their disposal. Additionally it is possible to include a milk replacer into this mix. It is also possible to use the prestarter feeding machine for the nutrition of older piglets with a low weight.

The machines for milk replacers can be divided into two categories:

  • Firstly a machine for piglets using only milk replacers. In order to ensure a great functionality of the system, it is very important that the technology and the milk replacer are compatible. Especially systems which provide milk in an hourly rate need to do a dry run before using it on the piglets. There shouldn’t be any lumps. This can otherwise lead to a lower intake of the milk replacer.  
  • Secondly there are the so called cup systems. With this machine the piglets can access the milk replacer at any time, 24 hours. Therefore the sow stays in the bay, which is a big advantage. There are no faults within the system and the piglets can access the milk at any time.

Especially the Czech Republic uses a lot of these feeding machines. The operation Agra Řisuty relies on the cup systems. The achievements with this system cannot be exceeded.

Additional milk feeds at Agra Řisuty

The breeding sow operation Agra Řisuty is located in the Czech Republic, in Smečno. They have 300 breeding sows. The agricultural business had 21 weaning days in 2015. The weight of the weaned piglets was 5.7 kg.

The usage of San Ammat F®

The farmer and the Sano Consultant Radek Štolc started feeding San Ammat F® to the piglets. They received it from the second day of life until the 21st day of life. They wanted to achieve a more stable weaning weight with this method. The milk is being prepared every morning and can be refilled if needed. It is very important to sterilize the pipe work and the milk container. They are being cleaned on a daily basis with the help of a special agent. The sterilization has high priority. Otherwise the milk would become sour. This is very dangerous, especially during summer. The feeding temperature for San Ammat F® is 45 °C. The drinking temperature after the preparation is about 37 °C. The farmer uses San Ammat F®  with potassium sorbate. This has one big advantage: the milk cannot get spoiled. The average usage of the Sano Product is 2 l per piglet.

The new cycle

Pavel Vicenec, head of the animal production, extended the cycle by three weeks at the end of summer. This means that the piglets were weaned on the 28th day of life. At the moment the weaning weight is at 8 kg. The average number of the weaned piglets per litter increased from 11.5 to 12.7 piglets. “We work very hard and hope to increase the weaned piglets per litter even more” emphasizes Pavel Vicenec.

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